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Good, Better, Best: Ball-Topped Wrought Iron Daybeds

A sofa by day, and a guest bed by night, a daybed is a versatile space-saver. Traditional Victorian style wrought iron daybed frames were originally handmade well before metalworking machines became available. So unless you're shopping antique stores, most wrought iron daybeds you find will be reproductions. I use the word "wrought" broadly; it actually suggests that the metal was shaped by hand, which, again, you're unlikely to find shopping franchise retailers. But you can let that slide, right? Antique, handmade daybeds may be cherished collector's items but that doesn't mean reproductions are an eyesore; they're often quite handsome. I've rounded up a selection for you to give you an idea of what's out there at various price ranges. The three that I chose are nearly identical in shape, though they have different finishes, and most likely have a variance in quality as well. Oops, and they're also actually made of steel, which means they're lighter than their iron predecessors.

Good: You can't get much cheaper than the Ikea TROMSNES ($179) bed. A classic shape, there's nothing frugal-looking about it. But Ikea beds are not known to be the most stable, and Ikea's products often take several hours to set up. The white finish is cute for a beach cottage or a girl's bedroom, but I don't see this agreeing well with testosterone. Unlike my "Better" and "Best", this bed does not have the option of a trundle underneath.
There are two more options, so

Better: The Ballard Designs Oak Park Daybed ($499) is a step in price, but won't break the bank. I'd expect it to be good quality and sturdy, and the option of a trundle bed (+$100) makes room for additional guests. There's nothing girl-y about its antique bronze finish, but if you'd like it to be, it's also available in a white finish. And again, its ball finials and vertical bars give it a classic shape that won't go out of style.

Best: The sloping sides of the Pottery Barn Whitney Daybed ($649, reduced from $749) give it a less "cagey" shape that's more appropriate to be used as a sofa than the former two. The quality of Pottery Barn's pieces has been proven through and through, so this classic design will also physically stand the test of time. This daybed also has the option of a trundle ($150), which to me really seems worth it if you're low on space. It's available in an antique brass or pewter finish, either of which will give it a sophisticated look that a white finish lacks.

Also, the bed shown above is the Restoration Hardware Nottingham Daybed with Trundle ($1185).

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